Bethel Neighborhood Center
14 S. 7th Street
Kansas City KS 66101-3896
Summer Field Trip
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 371-8218
Fax 913- 371-5206
Mission Statement
The Bethel Neighborhood Center empowers individuals to achieve a renewed sense of hope, wellness, and self-sufficiency. 
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Mang Sonna
Board Chair Rev. Richard Copeland
Board Chair Company Affiliation De Soto Baptist Church
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1911
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donations can be accepted through our website. We also take donations of food, diapers (newborn to size 5), new or gently used household items, mattresses, furniture, and clothing. Please call ahead before you come so that we know to expect you.
We have been blessed for many years with a very supportive and dedicated group of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering and sharing your time, talents, and abilities, please contact us by phone at 913-371-8218 or e-mail at We would love to talk with you and see if Bethel would be a good fit for you and/or your group to volunteer. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The Bethel Neighborhood Center empowers individuals to achieve a renewed sense of hope, wellness, and self-sufficiency. 
Background Statement
For over 108 years, Bethel Neighborhood Center has brought hope and help to people in the community through outreach, education, recreation, and spiritual nurture. Bethel has a reputation for working with newly arrived immigrant groups and people of various ethnic backgrounds who have arrived in the neighborhood from different parts of the world. The outreach began by providing support to newly arrived Croatian and other Eastern European groups and evolved to reach all cultures including Latino/Hispanic and other Central American immigrants, Hmong/Lao immigrants from Laos and African Americans. We are now working with immigrants from Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, and other Asian and African countries.
We have several senior adults coming to our senior program who first came to Bethel Center as children. One woman began attending Bethel Center when she was nine years old and tells how Bethel has impacted her life all these years. She considers Bethel as her second family and she now comes to the center with her grandchildren. Bethel is an active player in impacting the lives of many generations in Wyandotte County.
Bethel Center began as and continues to be an outreach of American Baptist Churches, USA. Bethel Center is also affiliated with United Way. Financial support is provided through both of these affiliations as well as individuals, congregations of other denominations and grants from the United Way of Wyandotte County, Kansas Health Foundation, Hispanic Development Fund, Kansas Office of  Refugees, American Baptist Women Ministries, and smaller grants.
Impact Statement
Accomplishments from 2019: 
  1. In 2019, 137 students benefited from Bethel's after-school and summer programs. 99% of students completed homework. 98% made healthier food choices and exercise more due to our training. They participated in 7 in-town and 1 out-of-town community service projects, and 17 fun-filled and educational field trips. In addition, our older students received training in college readiness, career options, community service, and job training.
  2. Our senior citizens day program, 39 senior citizens enrolled and 13 of them attended regularly. While 64% of our seniors reported looking for more whole grain foods while shopping, 71% said they have increased the amount of water they drink and 64% said they eat more fruits and veggies. Seniors received 13,177 lbs. of fresh produce during the year. They also did community service like stuffing bone pillows and donated them to Children's Mercy Hospital. Seniors also enjoyed going to the movies, Jamesport town, seeing a youth performance by a local dance group Los Bailadores de KC, attending a senior retreat, and seeing a presentation by the Messner Puppet Theater.
  3. Through our pantry we met the needs of 9,429 adults, senior citizens, and children and gave out 93,126 lbs. of food and fresh produce during the year. We provided baby food, diapers and baby wipes to 257 babies/toddlers; giving out about 3,855 baby diapers during the year.
  4. Our ESL/Citizenship classes met weekly for two hours on Fridays, working on conversational English, vocabulary, reading, and pronunciation. We help immigrants prepare for citizenship interviews, and provided transportation and advocacy as needed.
  5. We also gave Christmas presents to 79 families, 37 seniors and more than 100 children/youth.
Our Goals for 2020
  1. To raise funds for continued renovation and the building of a multipurpose hall.
  2. To increase community engagement and awareness about the programs at Bethel Center through social media and forging new partnerships with like-minded organizations.
  3. To offer hope to all those who come in contact with Bethel and empower our clients to become self-sufficient.
  4. To advocate for a healthier community by providing more education on healthy eating and active living.
  5. To work on making our financial base stronger by seeking more grants and drawing new donors.
  6. To work with and strengthen our relationship with new and older refugee groups in the Kansas City, Kansas area to make them feel welcome and make their assimilation to their new country easier.
  7. To maintain a strong presence in our community to impact more lives through our programs and services.
Needs Statement
  1. Monetary or in-kind donations for our food pantry, diapers, baby wipes, and formula, and personal hygiene items. 
  2. Newer or more efficient minivan with lesser than 20,000 mileage, to maximize our effort to provide reliable transportation to transport a greater number of children and seniors.
  3. Volunteers to help with minor home repair projects for seniors and low-income families as well as in our after-school and summer youth programs.
  4. Consistent funding for our Program Staff salaries.
  5. Funding for our programs and services to meet the ever-growing needs in our community. 
Service Categories
Neighborhood Centers
Youth Centers and Clubs (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose
Senior Centers/Services
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
Geographic Area Served Narrative We serve the community residing in Wyandotte County. Transportation is provided for children/youth and adult/senior program participants who reside within the Missouri/Kansas River in the east, 18th Street on the west, Kansas Avenue on the south and Minnesota Avenue in the north. 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Bethel Neighborhood Center always seek to improve its organizational structure, services, and programs. In May 2015, we kicked off our Capital Campaign and announced our plans for remodeling/expanding our building and grow our programs and services. We have raised over $3,000,000 in gifts and pledges and our hope to move into the newly remodeled building before the end of March 2019.
Our Board of Directors meet at least 8 times a year and maintain communication with staff and each other via email and phone as we seek to uphold our mission and work with our community. Identifying and retaining volunteer support remains important as many nonprofits are facing financial challenges. We continue to reach out to the community and share the Bethel story with the hope of inspiring people to participate in our work.
Description We provide a safe, educational, recreational program to nurture care of self and others. Our program includes development of life/social skills, reading and homework assistance, leadership training and community service, health education and educational and recreational field trips. Our high school program emphasizes on preparing for college enrollment, college life, career options, community service and fun and educational field trips.
Program Budget $255,692.00
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short-Term Success That students develop a positive character in a safe and caring environment. Within a semester, at least 98% of the students show improvement in their interaction, communication, behavior, and reading. By the end of the semester 98% of students exhibit an understanding of how to maintain a healthy body. 99% of our elementary students finished their homework while at Bethel and 96% of our middle and high school students know the importance of college education.
Long-Term Success Youth ages 6-18 will benefit from afterschool and summer enrichment programs that will promote self-esteem, care of community and encourage development and maintenance of marketable skills and life skills including literacy, computer competence as well as physical and social well being.
Program Success Monitored By In order to know what is working and what is not, Bethel staff monitor the programs closely. The actual tools used include: self report of program participants, record of occurrence of positive and negative incidents, pre-tests and post-tests, staff observation of behavior change, and self-report of satisfaction from our program participants.
Examples of Program Success

Learning nonviolent communication and social skills, the children/youth interact and communicate better. The number of negative incidents (physical contacts, using curse words, etc.), continued to stay down during 2017. At least 95% of them know the importance of healthy nutrition and exercise. After completing a year at Bethel, at least 94% of the youth show self-confidence. They understand and accept themselves and others better. When new students used curse words or acted up, some students who have attended Bethel programs for a few years would remind them the expectations at Bethel. The children/youth enjoy community service- whether picking up trash around Bethel, neighborhood parks, or painting walls, or volunteering at a homeless shelter.

Description Residents of Bethel's service area aged 60 and better can attend lunch Monday - Friday. Lunches are accompanied by programs, which allow seniors time to socialize and participate in Bingo, games, music, arts and crafts, Healthy Lifestyles classes and field trips. A Community faith based nurse provides education programs and monitors blood pressure and weight and educate our program participants to manage chronic diseases.
Program Budget $91,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Companionship
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short-Term Success Senior adults monitor the food they eat and participate in regular exercise. They receive a bag of fresh produce once a week. Senior adults benefit from social interaction with each other. They have at least one nutritious meal per day -Monday -Friday. They participate in field trips in the greater Kansas City area once a month.
Long-Term Success Senior adults who struggle to lose weight are encouraged by our nurse and other fellow seniors and some have experienced weight loss . Active participation in the Bethel Center community leads to more participation in other community events and less isolation.
Program Success Monitored By Self reporting from participants regarding change in healthy nutrition and activities, weight and blood pressure monitored by parish nurse, pre-tests and post-tests taken for some classes and activities. 
Examples of Program Success Attendance, improvement in vital signs and weight loss. Our senior participants really enjoyed the field trips to Jamesport, Missouri to see the Amish community and walk around, going to the Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park to see all the animals and going to Lake Jacomo in Missouri to ride the pontoons on a beautiful day . We are successful when participants continue to participate and recommend the program to others.
Description Our food pantry offers a variety of food to neighborhood residents free of charge. The pantry stocks canned and boxed food, dry oriental food, canned or dry milk, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and other items. A weekly food drop from First Baptist Church of Stilwell, KS helps us to distribute more fresh produce and bread to our community. We also hand out clothes and other household items when they are available. In 2019, we helped more than 9,500 adults, senior citizens and children and handed out more than 71,850 pounds of food (about 25 pounds of food per visit). We also provided baby diapers, baby foods, and baby wipes to 311 infants/toddlers; giving out 3,187 baby diapers throughout the year.
Program Budget $25,000.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short-Term Success The ability to meet the immediate needs for food and baby needs have allowed participants to look for a job or other sources of income.
Long-Term Success
The provision of food assists individuals and families in a time of emergency to carry on until they can find a job or some other resources. In 2019, we helped more than 8,691 adults, senior citizens and children and handed out more than 75,450 pounds of food (about 25 pounds of food per visit). We also provided baby diapers, baby foods, and baby wipes to 257 infants/toddlers; giving out 3,855 baby diapers throughout the year. Those having a hard time making ends meet at the end of the month were grateful for the food we provided. Many expressed their gratitude and relief.
Our senior program participants have lunch Monday through Friday and go home with a bag of groceries on Tuesdays and Fridays. Our children/youth program participants have dinner during the after school program and lunch and snacks during our summer program. While Area Agency of Aging provides meal to our seniors, Harvesters provides food to our children/youth program participants throughout the year. Our senior adults expressed their appreciation of the lunch and groceries they receive from us as they don't have to worry about what they will eat on weekends. Feeding the children/youth at Bethel has improved their behaviors and they are found to complete their homework on time. The discipline issues we had went down drastically after we provide dinner through Harvesters.
Program Success Monitored By A form that has the list of food, diapers, etc. and vital information to be filled by the family/individual that seeks helps has been in use since September 2006.  This form was developed to allow families to request specific food items to ensure that they were receiving food they would use. It also helps Bethel to track down important information to measure the success of the program.
Examples of Program Success The number of families and/or individuals who seek help to get oriental food increased tremendously since 2013 and continued to remain steady in 2019. Responding to the new needs in our community, we have been keeping food items that our new neighbors know and like. Our food pantry has been supplementing the food needs of people in our community who are experiencing a hard time, due to different reasons, providing enough food for their families. Some of our clients expressed their gratitude for the emergency food assistance they received from us. We have also had participants who received food from us return and donate back to us stating they wanted to give back now that they were doing better and others who offer to volunteer as their way of giving back. Our clients feel welcome and they are very grateful for receiving emergency food assistance from us.
Description There are presently 9 people on Bethel staff that speak 10 different languages. Documents Bethel staff members either translate or notarized include: Birth Certificate, letter for clinics, proof of income, vehicle registration, legal matters, and authorization forms.
Program Budget $7,800.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short-Term Success The immediate needs of our clients are met as their paperwork for hospital, jobs, and others were done as they seek help from us, their need for food, clothes, and community garden are met year after year. 
Long-Term Success The long term success of this program can be seen in the number of individuals who passed their citizenship tests, found better jobs, bought homes, providing for their families, and getting out of government housing and help. 
Program Success Monitored By We track the number of people who come in on a monthly basis. We record the type of notarization or translation and paperwork for whom it is provided. 
Examples of Program Success The individuals we have helped were able to get the help they need because of our help. As such, we have more people requesting help from us. For letters of income or residence that are notarized for individuals enable them to get the service they required from the clinics or other agencies. 
CEO Comments
Our programs at Bethel Neighborhood Center include education and enrichment for youth ages 6-18 and adults ages 60 and better.  High school students volunteer on Mondays and Tuesdays in our after-school and summer programs, and they are also involved in our inter-generational activities.  Our programs reflect the diversity of the community we serve. We provide culturally sensitive material and all of our adult health education programs are led in Spanish and English. We have a very high retention rate in our programs with more than 70% of adults who have participated in the program for 3 years or more and 75% of youth participating for 4 years or more.
The downturn in the economy affects us and the number of grants and donations have gone down. But the needs in our community is increasing. Our nurse continues to work with children/youth and seniors and educate them to prevent diabetes, obesity and other preventable diseases.  We are able to meet needs in our community because of the help we receive from our donors and many dedicated volunteers.  
The recent arrival of the vast number of refugees from Burma and Bhutan in our neighborhood keeps us even more busy during the last five years.  Because of our bilingual and multilingual staff members at Bethel Center, we are able to provide culturally appropriate help, activities, and programs to our clients.  Seeing the great need of teaching an ESL class, we began an adult ESL class in August 2011 with the help of a volunteer who was a retired Middle school teacher.  We cannot thank our volunteers and donors enough for enabling us to accomplish so many projects/programs to help our Bethel community. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Rev. Mang Sonna
Term Start May 2009
Rev. Mang Sonna was appointed by the Board of Directors and he assumed the position of Executive Director since May 1, 2009.  Mang has served on staff at Bethel since September, 2004 and most recently as Assistant Program Director.  Mang has a B.A. degree from St. Edmund's College in Shillong, India; a M.S. degree from North Eastern Hill University in Shillong.  He holds an M.Div. degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, KS.  He is working on Doctor of Ministry from Central Baptist Seminary, Shawnee, Kansas.
Mang held various leadership positions in multicultural organizations and he had a five-year teaching experience in a Christian college in his hometown in India.  He served as a Principal of a Christian College in Lamka, Manipur, India for 5 years before coming to the United States. Mang is well connected with the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region, community leaders in Wyandotte County, other nonprofit organizations, and leaders of the refugee population in Kansas City, Kansas. 
Former CEOs
Mr. Donald BlalockSept 2003 - Oct 2005
Rev. Lisa HarrisAug 2005 - July 2008
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 11
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 17
Retention Rate 77%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 5
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 4
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 8
Male 6
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Current collaborative partners include: American Baptist Churches USA; United Way of Wyandotte County; Wyandotte Health Foundation; Soccer Nation, Kansas City Chronic Disease Coalition; Harvesters; K-State Research and Extension; Wyandotte County Area Agency on Aging; FreeWheels for Kids; Nelson- Atkins Museum; Youth Volunteer Corps, KCK; Community Mediation Center, KCMO; Latino Health for All Coalition, KCK Public Schools; and local churches.
United Way Member Agency35
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments
The Executive Director is hired by the board of directors and is responsible for staff development, hiring, fundraising, administration, communications, property management, and community relations. He/she also assists with program development. The current executive director began in May 2009. 
Unfortunately, Bethel is not an exception when it comes to the financial struggles any nonprofit organizations have been facing for some time now. Although we have been able to balance our budgets for the last six years, funding for our programs and keeping the ministry going have not been easy. One of our primary goals is to increase and restructure our donors base and our capital campaign has helped us to reach more individuals and organizations. We are always seeking to recruit more volunteers to help us with our programs and services.
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. Richard Copeland
Company Affiliation De Soto Baptist Church
Term Jan 2019 to Dec 2020
Board Members
Ms. Hidy AguilarEnterprise Bank and Trust
Mr. Josue AguilarFederal Reserve Bank
Rev. Dr. Victor Clay
Ms Mary Etta CopelandDeSoto Baptist Church
Rev. Richard Copeland
Mr. Binod GurungCentral Middle School
Rev. Dr. Gregg Hemmen
Ms Janice JonesFirst Baptist Church of KCMO
Mr. Bob LightnerPrairie Baptist Church
Dr. Carlos Monzo
Mr. Kevin Nelson2nd Baptist Church, KCMO
Ms Sandra OlivasBank of Labor
Mr. John PaulsUMB
Mr. John RiosRetired Middle School Principal
Dr. Robert Southard
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 5
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Capital Campaign
Human Resources / Personnel
CEO Comments
The Executive Director is hired by the board of the directors and is responsible for staff development, hiring, fundraising, administration, communications, property management, and community relations. He also assists with program development. The current executive director began in May 2009. He has served on staff at Bethel since 2004, so the transition was smooth. 
Like many other organizations, Bethel Neighborhood Center has been experiencing financial constraints. While the needs of the community are increasing, donations are down and the amount of funding we receive is decreasing.  We are trying our best to improve our financial situations by applying for more grants and telling our success stories to potential donors.  
The arrival of many new immigrants from Burma, Bhutan, and African countries in our neighborhood gives us new opportunities, as well as new challenges, as many of them do not speak English. To respond to the needs of the new immigrants, we hired staff whose native languages are Burmese and Nepali languages. We also stock food items that are familiar to the new immigrants. 
In order to be relevant to the changing times and to meet the changing needs, we are engaging ourselves in strategic planning and we are expecting a wonderful outcome from this planning.  We are preparing ourselves to meet future needs and needs that are existing in our community.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2020
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2020
Projected Revenue $588,473
Projected Expenses $588,473
Endowment Value $214,061
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using the organization's audited financial statements. 
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$371,517$400,145$350,369
Administration Expense$49,088$42,616$40,327
Fundraising Expense$3,353$89,686$105,924
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.722.701.52
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%75%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$2,328,599$2,015,325$1,106,881
Current Assets$1,185,557$1,926,888$1,042,623
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$13,637$7,187$5,803
Total Net Assets$2,314,962$2,008,138$1,101,078
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities86.94268.11179.67
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual Donor $77,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual Donor $70,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --William T. Kemper Foundation $25,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose To construct a new Whole Life Center (Multipurpose Hall).
Goal $900,000.00
Dates Mar 2020 to Dec 2020
Amount Raised to Date $100,000.00 as of Feb 2020
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments The budget for 2020 is $588,473. Approximately, 9.5% of this is dedicated to administrative expenses. Bethel Center is supported by donations from American Baptist Churches of Central Region, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, individuals, congregations, businesses, and grants from United Way of Wyandotte County, Kansas Health Foundation, UG Healthy Community Grant, Hispanic Development Fund, Kansas Office of Refugees, and other small grants. In 2019, 70.45% of Bethel Center's income was from individuals, congregations, American Baptist Churches of Central Region, and businesses; 29.55% came from grants: United Way, Kansas Health Foundation, and other mini-grants.  During the last four years, the expenses did not exceed the income and no savings were used within those four years. However, the downturn in the economy was still felt as the number of donations from individuals and grants have not gone up much. 
Other Documents
Organization Name Bethel Neighborhood Center
Address 14 S. 7th Street
Kansas City, KS 661013896
Primary Phone (913) 371-8218
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Mang Sonna
Board Chair Rev. Richard Copeland
Board Chair Company Affiliation De Soto Baptist Church
Year of Incorporation 1911